OK, you’re a parent of a senior graduating this year and you’ve been asked to join the Committee for Project Graduation/Project Sunrise. How do you help plan a fun celebration that will get the majority if not all the seniors to come (instead of doing something they should not be doing.)
First rule of thumb, find out what the seniors like for activities. Sports, swimming, Live entertainment, etc… If the majority likes swimming or sports then a YMCA or community center that has both would be a great location to hold the Project Graduation at. Sometimes multiple locations might be part of the evening festivities; i.e. starting at the school gym for some food, rules, and an entertainer (comedian, magician, and hypnotist.) Next activity could be a bowling alley, cruise, or YMCA.
Think outside the box when it comes to planning what happens at different locations. An entertainer like a magician can dazzle seniors with sleight-of-hand illusions while roaming on a cruise. This allows them to eat, relax, spend quality time with friends they might not see again till 5th or 10th reunion.
Activities are fun, and allow the seniors time to do it at their own pace, but live entertainment Is something that will be talked about long after the celebration?
Entertainers…how do you choose them, which ones do you choose? I would recommend 2 things for choosing quality entertainers; do they have several testimonials from other schools they have worked project graduations for. Second and most important do they have videos of them working in front of similar audience or better yet for seniors/graduates?
If they don’t have videos you might not be impressed with the end result. Or if they are local perhaps they can stop in at a committee meeting or in front of the class officers to offer a brief live demo. Sometimes, this isn’t practical for the entertainer, which is why the videos are so important!
A hypnotist is often a big hit because it allows everyone to sit back and enjoy the show together while watching other senior’s participate. Is it real, is my classmate really hypnotized? Many entertainers can offer both a show and roaming style of magic entertainment to dazzle seniors. The roaming style is a huge hit because it’s like street magic performed in settings they didn’t expect. A cruise ship can be more than just a ride on a boat and some music…make it an experience they participate in. A bowling alley, allows for unexpected surprises like a mini bowling ball to appear in front of their eyes. A YMCA where they are coming out of the pool, or waiting in lines for tarot card readings, or a cartoonist drawings. An entertainer can work the line so the ‘wait disappears!!!’
And of course, what food choices to keep them happy, full, and awake while munching on snacks, pizza, ice cream, Chinese food, etc… At what time intervals do you want to bring in what items? Ice cream might be a better fit later around midnight, Chinese earlier, pizza is good at any point.
Doing the fund raisers to raise money so your students can have a fun and safe evening can take shape of bake sales, corporate sponsorships (look into your town’s companies) as they often like to give back to the community. Even a magic show or comedy show to help bring in funds for the JUNE celebration.